Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans
The great country of the United States did not just appear over night. Many hours, days, and years of study and decisions have taken place to bring these country were it is today. Difference had to be settled, and dents worked out of the governmental plans. Many people s minds and opinions have changed over time and we have not always agreed upon everything. But despite these problems we have managed to prosper. Before our present day form of government with the two parties, Democrats and Republicans, two other parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, were running their courses.
The Federalists were a group of well-educated upper class men who were lead by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. Located mainly in the east, this group of men was strongly supported by wealthy merchants and bankers. They did not trust the common people and believed that only the well educated and rich should hold positions within the government. They believed in the creation o f a central bank and the creation and support of a standing army. They were convinced that the funding of the old Revolutionary War debts should become the debt of all states. Because they were merchants and bankers they believed that the future of America lay within manufacturing. The Federalists did not feel threatened by the continued British pressure in the northwestern parts and there for they were pro-British. They were strong supporters of the Jay Treaty of 1794, which would terminate the difficulties with Britain and its navy. Their belief was that negotiation was the way to settle disputes, but despite this they supported the Alien Act of 1798 that allowed the President to deport any immigrant that posed a threat to the government. They wanted to use this law to get rid of republican newspaper editors who were printing papers that were discrediting them. The Federalists were extremely afraid of the Republicans pulling John Adams out of Presidency.
The Democratic-Republicans were basically the complete opposite of the Federalists. Their leader was the knowledgeable Thomas Jefferson. Supported by the southern planters and those in the frontier regions this party had a little more trust in the people. The Democratic-Republicans believed that the states should more power and control over the central government. They believed that the states should hold the federal government in check and be allowed to make their own laws within their states. They did not appreciate the relaxed view of the constitution. They believed in a strict view and that there should be no Elastic Clause. They also hated the idea of a national bank because they believed that the debts from the Revolutionary War should be paid by their debtors and that it should not become a national debt. They believed that it was unbeneficial to have a standing army. They believed that the creation of a standing army would only raise taxes for them. While the Federalists were pro-British the Democratic-Republicans were pro-French. They believed that it would help the United States have the help of the French against their fight with the British.
There were few views that were shared among these parties. One of the views that was shared was that of the negotiations of John Jay with the British. Nether of the groups were upset for the same reason but they were both on happy with the out comes of the treaty. The Federalists were unhappy because trade with the British West-Indies was not open and nothing was mentioned of the seizure of United States sailors by the British. The Democratic-Republicans were unhappy because the treaty failed to provide compensation for slaves carried of by the British during the Revolution; also it said nothing of the British plotting with the Indians along the frontier. Another thing that they agreed on was the Treaty with Spain. Both parties were pleased with the negotiations made by Thomas Pinckney with the Spanish. They were both happy because this treaty opened the Mississippi up for free travel helping both manufactures and the farmers.
When you take a close look at both of these parties you can come to the conclusion that both had their weaknesses and strong points. Also you can see that many of the styles of thinking were carried on through time to help build the foundations of the Democratic and Republican parties. Because these men stood for what they believed to be right we have developed what is now the strongest country in the world.